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Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. A former NASA engineer named Mark Rober decided to become a bird watcher. He set out a bird feeder, but it soon attracted more squirrels than birds. He tried several different versions, all of which claimed to be squirrel proof, but each time the squirrels were smarter than the feeders (& their owner).

So Rober decided to create the ultimate backyard squirrel obstacle course. To get to a treasure trove of walnuts, the squirrels had to negotiate a suspension ladder, a maze, launch pads, & other assorted challenges. Before long, they had mastered the course. 
Here is why I am writing about this invention by Mark Rober. The video telling its story has been viewed nearly twenty-nine million times. I am now one of them & was thoroughly entertained. 
The various periodicals I read have many more stories like this one. During the pandemic, as people have been isolated, lonely & bored, they have turned to building squirrel-sized picnic tables & even puppet theatres starring the backyard actors & various games. 
Unsurprisingly, loneliness has been called the new pandemic. Even before the corona virus pandemic, more than three in five people said they were lonely. 
According to David Foster Wallace, "We're all lonely for something we do not know we are lonely for." He is right.
In How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy, Julian Baggini writes Americans focus on individuality & independence while Asians care more about group relationships. The Chinese emphasize harmony, which Baggini defines as "a belief the highest good is an ordered world in which families, villages, & states all stand in the right relationship to each other."
“He adds "Japanese parents tend to concentrate on bringing up their children to be responsive to others.” By contrast, "Americans raise children to be responsible for themselves." 


Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR, said he was "incredibly saddened" after a noose was found hanging in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama last Saturday. On a very positive note, NASCAR drivers, pit crew members, & NASCAR legend Richard Petty walked alongside Wallace & escorted his Number 43 car before the race in a show of solidarity & support. 
Our challenges remind us, despite our insistence of a secularized culture, we cannot solve our problems ourselves. The good news is we do not have to. 
It is sadly understandable people would despair of hope in times which seem hopeless. Accordingly, we must lead if we want others to follow. Name your greatest challenge today.
Thomas Kelly, the monk & author, noted: "Over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call & a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by. Strained by the very mad pace of our daily outer burdens, we are further strained by an inward uneasiness, because we have hints there is a way of life vastly richer & deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity & peace & power."
This life can be yours today. Choose wisely.
If you would like to chat with someone, please feel free to drop me a line. Whilst I do not know all the answers, perhaps sharing our experience strength & hopes together may very well be of assistance. I have certainly found comfort in this myself.

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes, I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Kenn Butler
Copyright © 2020 Paradise Brokers, All rights reserved.

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